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The Legend of Korra S02E03: "Civil Wars" (Part 1)

"Civil Wars" Part 1 faced an unenviable position in Korra's Book 2 episode order. Any installment that followed the first two episodes was naturally going to be a bit quieter, considering all the place-setting and action that occurred in last week's opener, as the ramifications of said occurrences, particularly Unalaq's invasion, began to play out. As a result, I suspect some may cry "Filler episode! Already!" as the "most interesting" aspect of "Civil War" Part 1 occurred right at the end, with Unalaq arresting Korra's parents, in typical part-one-of-a-two-parter cliffhanger fashion. So, really, "Civil Wars" Part 1 had to deal with the events of the first two episodes AND do all the work to set up a hopefully climactic Part 2.

With both those burdens on its shoulders, "Civil Wars" Part 1 was a decidedly slow affair. It did involve too much back-and-forth for Korra as she shuttled herself between locales—namely, from the meeting of prominent Southern Water Tribe members or her family's home to the palace where Unalaq was, relaying messages or briefly fighting would-be kidnappers. Sure, we had brief asides to Bolin and the Creepy Twins, but they felt more like obligatory "Oh, we need some humor here" moments than more fully integrated parts of the overall episode.

Beyond those aspects, there was some important character work in the episode that deserves some discussion.


The thing we should probably talk about first is the elephant mandrill in the room, a.k.a the comments section. That's Korra's behavior from the last two weeks, and its extension into this week. After hitting her lowest point at the end of Book 1 and realizing how much she needs others, she's back to being gung-ho and looking for the quickest path to success.

I don't really have a huge problem with this. She's not completely mature and she doesn't have the meditative and self-reflective qualities that Aang did; given her personality, beating Amon—no matter how narrowly—would likely just feed into her sense of accomplishment, again giving her an inflated sense of power and ability. 

What Korra lacks, as many teenagers do, is a sense of purpose, a sense of her duties as the Avatar. Aang had the war with the Fire Nation. Korra has... what? She's relatively aimless, and her act-first-and-ask-questions-later attitude prevents her seeing the right path. So when presented with the opportunity to do what she perceives as real Avatar work—dealing with spirits—of course she's going to take the path that appeals to her desire to be the Avatar, even if she doesn't really have an idea of what that means. (Note to future trainers of the Avatar: Start by teaching non-airbender Avatars airbending and philosophy, and then progress to moving big rocks and making fire.)

As this episode demonstrated though, Korra's re-learning the price of her attitude. The tension between Tonraq and Unalaq, between the Northern and Southern Tribes, is forcing her to confront the consequences of her behaviors. Would it be better if she didn't have to relearn those lessons? Yes, but some people need to learn lessons more than once, and given her stubbornness, it shouldn't be surprising that Korra is one of those people.

This isn't to say anything of relationship with Mako, but it also continues to be the show's least well-developed, not to mention interesting, aspect, and much like in Book 1, it feels decidedly tacked-on. Korra comes off as a little shrill, Mako comes off as uninvolved and placating, and as a couple, they're just not compelling. Sorry, MaKorra 'shippers. (Is that the name? I have no idea.)


I didn't discuss Varrick last week because I was waiting and hoping for the show to add some shading to the character beyond "kooky, fast-talking businessman," and I was happy to see that occur here. Yes, he's still a kooky, fast-talking businessman who has no filter, but existing alongside that is a man who knows how to read a room and get what he wants. He framed his calls for rebellion within a discussion of freedom, feeding a concern over controlling wealth and thus power.

I doubt that Varrick gives a flying kale cookie about the political atmosphere between the North and South so long as he's free to pursue his economic goals, and that came through in his speech. Wisely, however, he hitched his own economic interests to the social interest of the Southern Water tribe, so while they're clamoring for independence from an invading force, he can remain free to continue making money. 

This is another wrinkle of modernization in Korra coming into play. Economics and social standing didn't factor much into Avatar: The Last Airbender apart from the districts of Ba Sing Se, but the fight against the Fire Nation was never framed in terms of economic freedoms or pursuits, just idealistic personal freedoms against an oppressive regime. Now, with global economic interests on the line, suddenly there are more hands in the pot, complicating our perception of the would-be rebels.


Then there's Unalaq. Up until the end of the episode, there was a degree of sympathetic well-intentioned extremist to Unalaq. We, as audience members, know that maintaining a balance between the Physical and Spiritual Worlds is important, and if that balance doesn't exist, there could be trouble for the entire world. Unalaq represents that impulse in us, that acknowledgement that what he's doing is necessary, and while we may stop just short of endorsing his behavior, we recognize the need for it.

Unlike Varrick, though, Unalaq is a little less forthcoming with his motivations in public. Like Varrick, he sings a good tune, one about uniting the tribes, bringing balance to the world, and opening up a spiritual Stargate to connect the North and the South—something I'm sure Varrick would be interested in, as a shipping magnate!—but his actions betray that. A desire to bypass a trial for his abductors and his surprise arrest of Tonraq and Senna showcased a less union-friendly mentality and more of a tyrannical self-obsessed one.

A few of you put forth the theory that Unalaq was influencing and/or controlling the spirits, and it's a thought that crossed my mind last week as well, though I didn't mention it. I think it's an increasingly viable theory, especially in light of that spiritual Stargate. I don't have an inkling of what his endgame might be if he's made a deal with the spirits, or is looking to harness their power somehow; I just know that such plots rarely turn out well for characters like Unalaq.


All of this leaves us with Tenzin, Bumi, and Kya and their search for the missing Ikki. Their scenes were much-needed, as this relationship dynamic was yearning to be fleshed out some. There's a considerable amount of dysfunction between these three, and I think it may take a few more nights of searching for Ikki to work it out. I think the most interesting thing to emerge from the situation, though, is a picture of Aang as a parent. We're familiar with him as a 12-year-old Avatar, and we have inklings of him as an adult Avatar, but Aang as a parent is a question mark. I like that he wasn't painted as a perfect father, choosing to dote on his youngest son who is also an airbender while also putting a lot of his attention into maintaining peace following a century-long war instead of focusing on his other two children

More than anything, though, it was rather refreshing to see that these three middle- to late-middle-aged adults on a show aimed at kids have problems, too—problems that younger audiences can grasp and relate to, but that still ring true for older audiences who have siblings. It may not have been the most exciting part of the episode, but it may have been one of the most deft.



LEAVES ON THE WIND

– Asami was missing in action, without an opinion about the blockade or the presence to help Varrick make a case for action against Unalaq or anything else. I have no idea whether she was merely hanging out at a hotel or whether she somehow managed to get out of the area before the Northern forces arrived.

– Sly acknowledgement, show, about Mako's ability to break up with girls. Or, rather, how he doesn't seem to actually do it. I mean, did Asami and Mako actually split? To quote the Ember Island Players, "You know, it was really unclear."

Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 12/19/2014

Season 3 : Episode 13

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I'm not enjoying the main story so far. The final scene in this episode annoyed and frustrated me and actually reminded me of the episode of Under the Dome where Big Jim decides to declare Barbie a fugitive... i.e. the point at which I stopped watching that garbage.
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I think Korra herself says in this episode that she's the one that usually starts a fight rather than the one that stops a fight. So, it is pretty obvious now that she is the polar opposite of Aang. The spiritual side of being an Avatar does not come naturally to her. Korra would also rather solve problems directly with force if necessary than use diplomacy or a non-violent option. I like the setup for Book 2 so far, even though it seems that Korra will never face the same sense of purpose that Aang did in trying to stop a 100-year old war. The most intriguing aspect of the season to me is finding out about the first Avatar and how it came to be. I think Ikki's storyline will lead to that answer somehow.

I think the dynamic between Tenzin, Kaya and Bumi was explored really well in this episode and made these characters infinitely more relatable. However, Mako and Asami's characters are suffering as they are getting much less attention. Lastly, Unalaq is not a compelling enough villain for me right now. He does have a dubious moral compass, but I can't see how he would pose a formidable challenge to Korra. I hope all of these intriguing storylines pay off in the end.
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I just chuckled at the Mako being so good at breaking up with girls thing.

Also, admittedly, I found myself wanting to shake Korra in this episode. I get that she's immature and so kind of a mess, but still... aaagh. I'm hoping the next episode resolves some bits... or at least fully exposes Unalaq's goals. I mean, really I think Bolin already outed Unalaq with the realization that Tonraq should have been the chief. Bolin plays a very good fool.

Also, although humorous filler, Bolin and Eska interactions remain quite entertaining. The laughing... the LAUGHING!
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I just watched the episode and I totally agree about shaking Korra. Her parents really did her a disservice keeping her so sheltered because she doesn't know how to think for herself. (Doesn't know how to ask for advice either even though she wants it.) Everything her Uncle is saying sounds super shady. How is both humans and spirits being able to pass between realms a good thing? There is a reason only the Avatar can access the Spirit World...And the Stargate portal between tribes to make them one tribe again? Does she really think he's going to give up that throne he's sitting on once the portal is open? It's sad because you can see the doubt in her behavior, but she doesn't ask the right questions. And for all her bravado, she's REALLY insecure and doesn't actually stand up for herself in a conversation/discussion. If it's not a fight/argument, Korra can't handle.

I also find it very worrisome that she doesn't know ANYTHING about the Spirit World. To not be in tune with it is one thing, but shouldn't she have had some sort of schooling? Between Katara and Tenzin, someone should have told her SOMETHING. Even something simple as Katara telling Korra stories about Aang encountering spirits would be helpful. She is completely clueless in this situation and I have a hard time accepting that.
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there must be a mention on eska and desna's "laughing" HAHAHHHAA :D
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Who would have thought I would get my fix for interesting character development, feasible family problems and tension, well portrayed teenage problems and moral complexity in an animated show?

I really like Korra's character. Yes, she makes mistakes, but you can see her really trying to be her best, forced to be the unbiased judge and mediator for the rest of her life. You can see the weight of the world she's carrying. I love how the writers are portraying her without making her come off as annoying. It's hard for me to really pin it down why I l like Korra's character development, but I can firmly say that I am really committed to watching her growing up, her journey. And that isn't the most common thing in TV.
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I very much like the theory of Unalaq wanting to control the spirits and use them. Much like how Commander Zhao has intimate knowledge of the moon and ocean spirits, I would be interested in the writers setting up unalaq to want to use the spirits not only to control the southern water tribe but to bring judgement up Republic city which has obviously turned its back on the spirits in favor of industry and technology.

Noel you also brought up a wonderful point. Korra has NOTHING TO DO!! Aang has the 100 year war but korra just has maybe puberty to deal with? Idk I understand the writers having season one be a one complete story but since Korra is sooo successful I would like to see them create a larger overarching story that takes multiple seasons to come to a resolution. Otherwise, because of my the storyline just seems too rushed.
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I think the overarching story for the series will be Korra learning the true meaning of being the Avatar and what role it plays in the modern world as oppose to A: TLA which was stop the war. The different story arcs will probably add to that overall story. I think in a lot of ways that was what the writers were going for. Aang had a clear mission to achieve Korra has to figure out how to do that on her own with no clear goal.
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Unfortunately, for better or worse, when Nick green lit books 2-4 of Legend of Korra, it was only if they made individual stories for each season. Whivh honestly I find a bit disappointing.
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Really?? That was the agreement. Disappointing. Executives are always out of touch with what the consumers really want.
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Yeah, I still really like Korra, but there was something about atla having a concise series long arc from episode 1 that I just loved.
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I don't get all the negativity, I loved this episode.
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I really only liked this episode because of Bolin trying to break up with the twin and the fight b/w Aang's kids. For being the Avatar, Korra's way too easy to manipulate (the magic words being "I believe in you" and "I'm not going to hold you back" - even though she needs a good dose of restraint and humility) , and thus she's going to be a pawn in Unalaq's plot. I originally thought that by opening up the spirit world last episode she would unleash Unalaq's demon/spirit army and spend the rest of the season hunting them down, but since that didn't happen I think he's probably going to be this season's scheming politician (Tarrlok).

I don't want to feel this way but this series feels kinda boring. A:TLA was a travelogue that climaxed into an epic Final Battle. This series seems to be exploring the political intrigue genre and imbuing it with themes of Korra growing into her role as Avatar and maturing into an adult. But the writers aren't very good at crafting a thickly layered political plot that is both compelling and engaging to watch. I love the worldbuilding and the characters in A:TLoK, but the story itself is sort of dull.
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I find it interesting that after everything with Tarrlok she doesn't question whether or not she's being manipulated again. I know he's her Uncle so its easier to overlook things, but ugh! She really didn't learn ANYTHING from last season. I grudgingly accept that she hasn't figured out violence isn't always the answer or how to deal with adults, but betrayal? Come on! Fool me once, fool me twice.

And on that note, what's with the whole 'betrayed by your own people in power' thing that's going on in this show? I guess someone's upset about the American government over at Nick because both Tarrlok and Unalaq are from the Water Tribe.
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Korra is uncharming and boring as main character.. all the interesting points in this first 2 episodes were related in some way to Aang.. Don't get me wrong,it was not a bad episode.. but.. at least for me.. predictable always mean boring in an animated show. I was expecting that after that dissapointing season 1 finale the same mistakes wouldn't take place again.

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The best thing that came out of this episode was definitely the interaction between Aang's kids. While initially it felt like it was tarnishing our memory of the original series, it was a wonderful reminder that people change and not everyone is perfect (though Aang was hardly ever that). The pacing of this season is very choppy so far, but if they can find a way to balance the themes, I think they might be onto something that could approach par with the original.
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Well, Aang was a kid since we last saw him , and people change , plus Aang realized that his peoples legacy lied within Tenzin , he must have been waiting for an airbender since Kataras first pregnancy , Bumi beign an non bender must have beign a tough blow for him , then he got a waterbender and Tenzin is his last kid , remember , so maybe by then Aang had lost all hope for the airbenders to survive and saw Tenzin as a gift
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Very good point. Plus there was a lot of pressure from around the world to help with the post-war efforts. Between that, having a family with three kids, and trying to preserve his own heritage, Aang was a very busy guy. It's not surprising that something fell by the way side, it's just sad that it was his other two children. I'd be very interested to see them have this conversation with Katara. What happened to her anyway? Where is she in all this North takeover madness?
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Does anybody think that the Creepy Twins kinda look like Mai, Azula's companion and Zuko's girlfriend?
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I can see the resemblance...
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It's totally the bangs, huh?
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1. If Unalaq wanted the Avatar to remain neutral in the civil war - then he screwed up big time, by arresting Tonraq and Senna. There is no way Korra will allow to take away her parents.

2. I love that Korra behaves like a normal teenage girl and not like the chosen one. The teenage rebellion, lack of focus and general aimless - these are great stuff!

3. Bumi is just awesome. They should make a spin-off with Bumi, Kya and Tenzin.

4. Aang being the Ass-Dad - nice twist - I like it.

5. As for Korra and Mako - they don't seem a real pair. They're just hanging out. When I look at them I don't see the romance.

6. Can Creepy Twins be even more creepy?
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That laugh by Aubrey Plaza was classic......really creepy!!
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So glad they addressed the family drama of Aang's kids. The only thing they needed was a bit of an all out blowout. And what's up with not. Mentioning the avatar made of wood? I'm sure they'll do it later but you would think jinora woud have brought it up. Also... Wouldn't tenzin have seen the lights? Seems odd to leave that out. Korra - the epitome of a teenager, a bit of a brat and not unexpected at all. While I get mako's reaction of "tell me how to react because you can totally kick my butt." Thought he would be a bit more of a man. He did manage to fight among bloodbending. Bolin+ creepy twins. :) I don't like unalaaq. That is all.
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Wait a second, I thought Kya was orginally the oldest. Then Bumi, then Tenzin.
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I swore last year or book 1 they had Kya as the oldest too. I knew I wasn't crazy! The writers changed their mind and altered it.
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Another commenter mentioned something that I thought was interesting in regards to the reason Aang may not have been the best Dad to Bumi and Kya.
exile31094

he must have been waiting for an airbender since Kataras first pregnancy , Bumi beign a non bender must have been a tough blow for him , then he got a waterbender and Tenzin is his last kid , remember , so maybe by then Aang had lost all hope for the airbenders to survive and saw Tenzin as a gift

Maybe this is also why the order was switched. That or somebody just forgot...I prefer the first option though.
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Family and Duty was a big part of this episode. I can't see how it can be filler. It addressed a lot of issues that needed to be addressed. I love the writers aren't afraid to show Aang's flaws. You can be a good father and husband and still have issues with your wife or children. It's just going to happen. It doesn't mean you're a bad father. The writers not making Aang the perfect father was great.

The Family aspect is something I wanted to know about Aang. I imagined there were hiccups with his family due to his Avatar duties. I loved this episode for brining it up all the questions I had. Bumi overcompensates for being the only non bender child of Aang and Katara. Kya and Bumi felt Aang favored Tenzin for being a air bender and going on trips with him. Tenzin was in denial that there was any tension in their family and outburst revealed on some level he hated having so much pressure of carrying on Air Nomads' legacy and have to live to what he perceived as his father's expectations. I totally understand why Katara wanted them to go on that trip together. Some might see it as whining from fully grown adults, but it's issues that if not worked out divide families and that no matter how old you are you just don't get over it as easily as people think they should. I'm glad they brought it to the surface. I hope people don't misunderstand and think the writers are saying Aang was a horrible father. I'm sure they all have good memories of Aang too. With his job I'm sure there was a lot of missed birthdays and Tenzin getting dragged along to teach him air bending, probably hurt for Bumi and Kya. Kya probably got to spend more time with Katara due to learning water bending, which led to Bumi acting out more to get both his parents attention. What sucked about this is Aang probably knew how they felt and felt horrible for making them feel that way, but Avatar duty kept getting in the way of him trying to talk to them about it.

Korra's family drama going alongside Tenzin's family was a fine way to go about it. The one aspect your review didn't hit on, which I'm surprised, is how Korra was in the role of mediator. It's a role she is totally unfamiliar with, but every bit a role the Avatar is expected to fulfill. A lot of parallels between Roku and Sozin, Aang and Zuko, and Korra and her uncle. I swear I'll learn her uncle's name before this book ends. Her uncle like Sozin is well meaning and believes what he's doing is right in unifying the two tribes (Sozin wanted to unite the 4 nations) to bring balance, but overzealousness is making him go about it the wrong way. Invading the South much as Sozin invade the Earth Kingdom. Unlike Sozin, he is able to get the Avatar on his side. He manipulated Korra here his message was still true on how Korra who decides what's right in the end and how she has to be neutral when she decides. Korra for her part is trying to be neutral and bring the tribes together (dare I say similar to Aang and Zuko did with the fire colonies into the Republic Nation). If the comics are anything to go by Aang and Zuko had their issues on the fire colonies staying and Zuko's actions angering the Earth Kingdom like Korra's uncle angered the Southern Water Tribe. Korra was called a traitor and got snow thrown at her, but she didn't retaliate the way she would have last book. It's small, but clear development on her part. She feels her uncle is going about it the wrong way she still feels uniting the tribes is the right thing to do. We see her steer her uncle in the right direction as oppose to saying no because she is the Avatar. In a way she is trying to keep her uncle in cheek and her fellow Southern Tribe from throwing the first stone to get them to realize they aren't different and can live together. It was a good story because it was a problem Korra couldn't swing or rush her way through. Feel Mako and Bolin weren't needed here for that. While others will still find her bratty and whiney I think she taking steps in the right direction here. As while she did use violence to stop her uncle from getting kidnapped it was her last option and she held back as to not hurt them as badly as she could. That is character growth and a girl who is starting to realize what it means to be the Avatar.

The threat of civil war is a slow build up it was needed to make Korra a mediator and show us that she is learning to be the Avatar means more than fighting. Her mother revealed why they kept her on the compound and Korra accepting it when she was relieved her dad wasn't part of the kidnapping showed us that while she is hot headed and a bit self-absorbed she has a good heart. Her making up with her family was a good way to end it before her uncle came to arrest them. It contrasted Tenzin's family didn't make up and went their separate ways at the end. I feel like Mako, Bolin, and Asami will get bigger roles later on when Korra starts her spirit training with Tenzin and Jinora. I can't see this being a filler, because it was great for Korra's development and the Kataang children development.
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It noticed the new animation alot more this episode, compared to season one the animation just didn't match up this time around, everything was kind of empty and there was a lack of fine detail, Korra's face and eyes look alot more round than before, same goes for Bolin, and Mako looks more like an anime character than ever, not in a good way. I hope they go back to the old studio next season, they didn't even bump the animation detail up a notch in the fight like they used to do.
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I agree, as well. The animation for season two really does strike a resemblance to Studio Pierrot's usual anime, most notably Bleach and/or the Naruto movies. I can't quite put my finger on it, but the animation sequences just feel... lazy. For instance, there would more attention to detail and facial expressions during season one, while nowadays it seems the animators try and avoid as many close-up shots of characters' faces as they can. The fight scene between Korra and the Waterbenders was also poorly stylized.
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Maybe it was a money thing... With all of Avatar's success, the original studio may have wanted more $$$, and Team Avatar cheaped out, and that's what delayed the production for so long. Just speculation.....
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I think it was more of a time thing. Studio Mir is not a big studio, at all, and turning out another 13-14 episodes in a year or so may not have been feasible. Perriot's a big studio though.
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Wouldn't surprise me.
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Agreed. While I got confirmation from some folks in the comments last week that I wasn't crazy, this episode locked in that there's been a real art shift.
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Uh, I get the sense we may have seen the last of Asami for the rest of the season. And you thought she got shafted LAST time....

I hate to say it, but her main problem was wrapped in the first episode and I don't see how she can factor into the current plot in any way. Do you?

If I was writing, I would damn well find something for her to do, maybe put on her Power Glove and start shocking heads in an attempt to unravel what was really going on. That would make for an interesting subplot that would have some relevance to the bigger one.
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I saw images for upcoming episodes yesterday and say Korra with Mako and Asami. She'll be back in the future.
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She'll definitely be back!
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Having her align herself with Varrick, in an effort to keep his business, would've created some solid tensions. Possibly.
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Does Korra ever stop whining? And now Aang's kids have picked up on it too? How old are Aang's children, that they're still whining like 12-year-olds. How about getting lives, rather than obsessing over carrying their father's legacy (he built his own legacy! he's dead!). Do any of them have jobs? I couldn't care less about Korra's family drama, and her relationship with Mako is terribly boring. They shouldn't have gotten together so early in the series, IMOP. The only part of the episode I actually liked was Bolin's continued difficulty with his creepy boyfriend/girlfriend duo, and their weird hilarious laughter. I'd also like to see what happened to Tenzin's eldest daughter.
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Korra's dad locked her up on compound and lied to her about it. She feels hurt and betrayed that her father would do such a thing. Bumi and Kya genuinely feel Aang favored Tenzin over them and missed out on their childhood. Tenzin felt pressure for continue Air Nomads' culture and legacy. This is stuff that actually happens in real life. There are families in the real world who feel this way and stop talking to each other for it. These are issues that are hard to tackle and get over in real life. It's harsh to say they are being whiney.
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Same with Toph and her relationship with her parents. She didn't spend episodes complaining about them.
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Toph was hurt by her parents because she never had a real relationship with them. The parental figure she did have a relationship with, katarra, well there was plenty of episode so of them fighting. I think when it comes to parental hurts, everyone reacts differently. Toph was an only child, she buried the hurt. And the few times she did showit, they were vulnerabilitiesso she quickly buried it . Sokka and katarra spent time together and griped at each other like siblings do but they weren't free from parental hurts either. Think about atla book 3 episode one- katarra was so mad at her dad too mind got over it too. It's alMost like theoppiste of korra. Korra was smothered by her father where as katarra felt abandoned. Same issues. Zuko and Azula, well their issues were worked out rather physically weren't they?
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I understand that these are real issues, but it seems to be taking up a lot of time that could otherwise be dedicated to the plot. We didn't see Sokka and Katara taking up episodes to argue about familial relations. And even though their mother had died, they only went into depth on it in one episode. I feel like a lot of the arguing between Aang's kids was just put there to waste time.
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Fair point, but don't you think you are jumping the gun at deeming this a waste of time and not moving the plot along? Look at Zuko. His entire story was basically family drama, worrying about regaining his father's approval, feeling sorry for himself, rivalry with Azula, and trying to live up to his father expectations. It all tied into the plot and helped Zuko become the man who train Aang in fire bending and help restore balance to the world.

The Aang kids and Korra's family drama could tie into the plot nicely as well. It's just 3 episodes in seems too soon to say it's just a waste of time.
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If you like Zuko's family drama, definitely read The Search graphic novel!
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It's actually the youngest that's missing. And I don't know how old you are or have any siblings but the truth is none of that sibling rivalry back and forth griping ever goes away. And as it was hinted by the show... It seems like they spent chunks of time apart... Believe me when I say that when you live that way... You get good at missing each other until you're in the same room. The only thing I like about mako is the honest stupid boyfriend answer. I rather the guy tells me he doesn't know what to say then give me a fake placated answer. Korra... Gosh I get why she's like that but it's starting to get to be a bit annoying. Why is she trying so hard to please her uncle? I will agree with the bolin/twins drama. That laugh...
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I don't think this just to please her uncle. I think she genuinely believes the two tribes should be one again and the South was out of balance and should do something to appease the spirits. This episode she was really trying to keep both sides in check.
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Yeah to be fair jsut pleasing her uncle might have been an overstatement. I think I was leaning towards beinga bit spiteful against her own dad and tenzin. I don't disagree that she believes an wants unity, but up until the water festival she didn't think that there was anything wrong. She celebrated the festival and it was part of who she was, enough so out invite her friends, and yet her uncle says its a disgrace...and yet it gives her no moment of pause. I guess my biggest beef with the show is korra being such a teenager. I mean I get it in a creative standpoint but it feels like a big retread of book 1. I think I would have like to seen a bit more progress. What did they do in the 6 months? Did tenzin just say oh wel she hasthe avatar state, she doesn't need any more spiritual training? And wouldn't her avatar senses the a little more honed to recognize unalaqs shiftiness? His rhetoric isn't all the different from Amon. Yeah, Ammon was totally antibending but he still tried to how a "better" world through invasion. Hey... I just realized (if unalaq is the bad guy) both bad guy she has to face is from the water tribe. Which is interesting to explore because while aang was fighting another nation, katarra essentially has to battle, not only spirits, but her own people.
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My question is, so aside from supressing the Southern Tribe, and slyly (or unsly to everyone that isn't Korra) manipulating Korra, is her Uncle actually TRAINING her in regards to the Spirit World? He looked like he was just sitting on his throne and enjoying all the turmoil that he's caused. And I agree, I find it hard to believe that NO ONE taught her anything about the Spirit World this entire time. Even if she's not connected to it, shouldn't she have had some sort of formal schooling? Does Korra do nothing besides bending? Who wants a dumb Avatar?
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Its an interesting dilemma isn't it? I already see the tide changing with unalaq arresting hr parents. It's been three episodes... I guess I'm missing Lin beifong. (I know why she's not in the story, yet if ever, but still)
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Amon and her uncle share some similarities, but the circumstances and situations are enough for Korra to side with her uncle at the moment. Amon made all benders the enemy and Korra obviously disagreed with that mindset and in book 1 perhaps didn't even think there was inequality between non-benders and benders until Tarrlock anti-non bender laws. Her uncle's criticisms are harder to ignore, because as far as Korra has seen he's right. The South totally abandoned spirituality and tradition and dark spirits are attacking the South. I don't think she was completely sold on the idea until her uncle succeeded in calming the spirits. It's a case of Korra not believing or seeing enough of bender oppression in book 1 to agree with it, while in book 2 her dad's way hasn't been working at all, while her uncle's has so far. I think this where personal interpretation comes in for Korra and us.

To us her uncle is most likely going to turn out to be a villain and she should side with her dad, because he was just misguided. At the same her uncle for all his fault has a point and may also just be misguided. Her anger at her dad kept her from listening to him, while she listened to her uncle. I don't think there is enough evidence to suggest Korra shouldn't be listening to him over her dad yet. Let's face it her dad up until this episode had been dead set on keeping physical and spiritual worlds apart and ignored the dark spirit problem, not bothering telling his daughter the Avatar. As welling meaning as he is it seemed to have caused more problems so makes sense Korra wouldn't listen to him on this matter.
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Bumi retired from the United Forces. Kya seems to take care of Katata. Tenzin appears to be the most high profile airbender in the world, making him something of an ambassador, I would imagine. Also: they're on vacation, so time away from possible jobs.
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Exactly!
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I actually really enjoyed this episode, I agree a good amount of it could be considered filler, but I would almost say that is a good thing. In Book 1 there was hardly any filler, and when there was some it wasn't spent on what was missing most in book 1, character development. I thought we had some great character development in this episode. First of all we got to see Korra try to be a good Avatar, and she clearly wants to be a great Avatar, she is not there yet, and she is trying, and I do hope her apology at the end of the episode is the end of her feuding with her dad. Korra wants to access the spiritual part of the Avatar, unfortunately her spiritual advisor seems to have more on his mind than teaching Korra what she needs to know as the Avatar. A portal between the North ad the South, is that really a good idea. It is Korra's job to be the bridge between worlds, unless I'm interpreting it wrong, Unalaq wants the worlds to become one.

These Tenzin plus family sections are quickly becoming my favorite part of the show, and this week was packed full of character development. Aang favored Tenzin, at first I was shocked, appalled even, but I cannot deny it will be interesting where this story goes, but I can only hope that the writers give us some explanation why, because that does not seem like the Aang I remember. This sibling dynamic is something that I hope is explore even more as the season progresses. I only wish we had learned what was up with Jinora and that statue.

This was definitely a slower episode, but I have a feeling will be in for an action-packed 30 minutes next week, and I can't wait.

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I don't think Aang favored Tenzin as much as Kya and Bumi believe. Keep in mind Tenzin is the youngest kid and the only one who could air bend. I'm sure after two kids with no air bending that Aang was a bit worried he and Katara wouldn't have a air bender to continue the Avatar cycle after he died. When Tenzin was born and displayed he had air bending Aang probably took him along with him every where he went to train him in air bending just in case in something happened to Aang. The field trips and fun they had were breaks for Tenzin had while their training. The way Tenzin yelled at siblings at how much pressure he had to continue to Air Nomads culture that a lot of those trips were also to get Tenzin to live as Nomad as much as possible as well as training.
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I agree completely, I am fairly confident that Aang was not a bad Dad, and hopefully will get more information as the season progresses.
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